By Nan Talleno
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Here’s something you may not know: your dog can get a case of the hiccups just like we do with similar sounds as well. And, fortunately, much like humans, it’s not a cause for alarm, no medication is needed and it will soon pass as easily as it came.
Hiccups are much more common in puppies but can be seen occasionally in adult dogs due to excitement, stress, eating or drinking too rapidly, ingestion of spicy food, stomach issues, inhalation of secondhand smoke, and rarely, but possibly, from certain medications.
Hiccups are the result of a diaphragm spasm with a sudden burst of air rushing into the lungs and over the vocal cords.
Even though they are not dangerous, there are a few things you can do to help hiccups disappear quicker. Offer fresh water as this may eliminate the hiccups quicker and ease any irritation in the throat. Massage your dog’s chest as this can help the diaphragm muscles to relax and the hiccups to dissipate. Offer a toy to distract your dog so that his/her breathing pattern changes.
In rare cases, if the hiccups last longer than a brief period of time, take your dog to the vet as this may indicate a more serious health issue.